How to Get Enough Rest (in High School)

Three Methods:Developing Good Sleep RoutinesMaking Good Lifestyle ChoicesKnowing the Importance of Rest

Research indicates that teenagers require between 9-10 hours of sleep per night, but more than half of all teens report getting far less than that. If you're a teen who wants to learn how to get enough rest, you can try these recommendations to develop good sleep routines and cultivate healthy habits that contribute to getting enough rest.

Method 1
Developing Good Sleep Routines

  1. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 1
    Follow a regular sleep schedule. Establish a regular bedtime, and stick to it. Having regular hours set aside for sleep will train your body and your mind to expect sleeping at this time. Practice using your bed only for purposes of sleeping, not for reading or playing with electronics.[1]
    • Most teenagers experience changes in their sleep cycles. Try to make sure your activities at night are calm to counteract against this tendency.
    • Keeping a diary or a "To-Do" list by your bed may allow you to jot down any notes or ideas that keep you awake. Then you'll be able to tell yourself to come back to these ideas in the morning, and let them go during the night.
    • Make sure your room is dark and quiet. Use curtains, or an eyeshade, to block the light. #*Use a white noise machine, such as a fan facing the wall, to block the noise from other parts of the house. Some people find that listening to soft music helps them go to sleep, and blocks other noise.
  2. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 2
    Avoid oversleeping on weekends. You'll do best if you try to follow your regular sleep schedule even on the weekends. Try to wake up within 2-4 hours of your usual wake time in order to maintain your regular pattern.[2]
    • If your friends talk about how much fun they had staying up all night, you can remind them how good you feel after a full night's sleep.
    • Remember that getting more than 10 hours of sleep on one night doesn't mean you can sleep less the following night. A healthy sleep routine involves sufficient sleep every night.
  3. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 3
    Develop a nighttime routine. Doing the same things before bed every night will help your body understand that it's time for bed. Examples of things included in a nighttime routine are: brushing teeth, washing face, putting on soft pajamas. Taking a warm bath or shower will relax you, and you will wake in the morning already bathed for the day.[3]
    • Reading a book before bedtime can be relaxing, as long as the book isn't a thriller.
    • Listening to soft music or meditations can be a good way to relax for sleep.
  4. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 4
    Turn off electronics at night. Electronics, whether they're tablets, computers, phones or games, interfere with the body's sleep mechanism in ways that researchers don't entirely understand. Adolescents with a bedroom television report more difficulty getting to sleep, significantly higher rates of sleep disturbance, and shorter overall sleep times.[4]
    • Texting at night, even once a week, results in daytime sleepiness, according to researchers.
    • Reading from light-emitting electronic readers also has been shown to interfere with sleep quality, and lowers the secretion of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.[5]
  5. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 5
    Make sleep a priority. Not getting enough sleep means lower cognitive abilities, being more moody, irritable and cranky, and lower grades in school. It also means that if you get sufficient sleep, you'll be in a better mood, with more energy. You'll be quicker to think of intelligent solutions. You're more likely to get better grades too.[6]
    • Set your own goals for sleeping. If the benefits of getting enough sleep are important to you, you'll find a way to work it in.
    • Don't be embarrassed to tell your friends that you have to say goodnight. Good friends will understand your priorities.

Method 2
Making Good Lifestyle Choices

  1. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 6
    Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, drugs and smoking. In addition to being actively harmful to your health in other ways, these substances all interfere with your ability to get quality sleep. Drinking even one alcoholic beverage before bedtime, for example, results in disrupted sleep.[7]
    • People may associate alcohol with feelings of relaxation, but the scientific evidence doesn't back this up.
    • Beware of caffeine hidden in some products. In addition to coffee, tea, and sodas, caffeine is found in chocolate, energy drinks, and certain cold medications. Read the labels before consuming any of these things in the late afternoon or evening.
    • Avoid using any products, including alcohol or herbal supplements, to help you sleep.
  2. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 7
    Lower your stress levels. Studies show that there is a high correlation between high stress levels and insufficient sleep. Not getting enough sleep results in higher stress levels, but having too much stress also results in getting less sleep. Take active steps to lower the stress in your life in order to get enough rest in high school. According to researchers, adolescent rates of stress are similar to those of adults.[8]
    • Teens who spend less time online report overall lower levels of stress.
    • Physical activity is one of the best ways to lower stress. Walking, jogging, swimming, doing yoga, or playing basketball with friends are all good ways to move your body, reduce your stress, and get a better night's sleep.
    • If you find yourself getting stressed out by a situation you don't know how to deal with, talk to someone about it. Even if the other person can't solve your problem, sharing it with her often helps lower your stress about it.[9]
  3. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 8
    Take early afternoon naps. If you really need to catch up on sleep, take short naps in the early afternoon. Good daytime naps shouldn't be more than 20-30 minutes in length.[10]
    • Taking naps in the later afternoon or evening may interfere with your sleep schedule, and are best avoided.
    • Make sure your napping place is quiet, restful and reasonably dark.
    • There are three types of napping that can be used to help you get enough rest. They are planned naps, when you schedule a nap on a day you expect you'll be sleepy; emergency naps, for when you are just too sleepy to function well; and habitual naps, when you set aside time in your daily schedule for a nap.
  4. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 9
    Practice relaxation strategies. Learning relaxation strategies, such as meditation, yoga or a relaxing hobby, can help lower your stress levels, and have a positive effect on your sleep. Teens will appreciate relaxation techniques that they can use on their own, without guidance from a parent or adult.[11]
    • Progressive muscle relaxation is a good technique to fall asleep by. This is a step-by-step self-guided relaxation of each individual part of the body, starting at the toes and working up to the tip of the scalp. One by one, each muscle group is identified by awareness, tensed for 5-10 seconds, and then relaxed.
    • Guided auditory meditations may also be useful for teens. Explore different techniques until you find the one that's relaxing for you.

Method 3
Knowing the Importance of Rest

  1. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 10
    Learn the consequences of not getting enough rest. Sleep deprivation affects everything from driving to decision-making and response time. When someone is sleep deprived, she is as functionally impaired as someone with a blood alcohol content of .08%, which is legally intoxicated in most states.[12]
    • Consequences of not getting enough rest are far more than feeling sleepy. Insufficient sleep leads to difficulties with concentration, being unmotivated to take care of responsibilities.
    • Lack of sleep leads to more acne and pimples.
    • You may become more aggressive or irritable, getting into trouble with your peers and friends.
    • Many teens overeat when they don't get enough rest, or eat too many unhealthy foods when they're tired. Not getting enough sleep can contribute to obesity and other health problems.
  2. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 11
    Understand the connection between sleep and mood disorders. Sleeplessness is connected to clinical depression, suicidal ideation, and other mood disorders.[13] Research shows that there is a strong association between negative mood and sleep problems in children ages 11-17.
    • Among teenagers who report being unhappy, 73% report insufficient sleep at night.[14]
    • Many signs of sleeplessness are identical to signs of depression, including sleepiness during the day, poor concentration, forgetfulness, loss of energy, listlessness, and changes in weight and appetite.
  3. Image titled Get Enough Rest (in High School) Step 12
    See a professional. Insomnia is both a symptom and a cause of depression in teens. If you have tried to get more rest on your own and you're still unable to sleep, consult a medical provider for help. Symptoms of depression often are hidden by typical teenage behavior or sleep disturbances. Understanding the reason for your sleeplessness may provide better ways to address it.[15]
    • Anxiety and depression tend to affect more teenage girls than boys.
    • Behaviors associated with depression may be more likely to be disregarded in girls. For teenagers, some form of cognitive behavioral treatment may be indicated.

Article Info

Categories: Relaxation Techniques